Biblical Story Of King Josiah And Lessons
KEY SCRIPTURES: 2 Kings 22-23:30; 2 Chronicles 34-35:27
2 Kings 23:25 “Now before him there was no King like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor after him did any arise like him.”
King Josiah was eight years old when he became king after his father King Amon was killed by his servants. His mother’s name was Jedidah. King Josiah inherited a corrupt kingdom because his father, King Amon and grandfather, King Manasseh did evil in the sight of God by worshipping idols. Despite the evil practice in the kingdom he inherited, at a young age, he decided to follow the ways of King David by doing what is right and pleasing to God. In his twelfth reign as a King, he began by destroying and cleansing Judah and Jerusalem from all forms of idolatry. He destroyed all high places, wooden images and all types of images used for idol purposes. He later destroyed all priests associated with idolatry throughout the land. King Josiah showed great wisdom despite his age.
In his eighteenth year of reigning as a king, he raised money to repair the temple of God by sending his royal assistant, Shaphan to Hilkiah, the High Priest. It was during the repair of the temple that a discovery was made by Hilkiah which was the book of the law. Hilkiah, the High priest, gave the book to Shaphan to read it because it was God’s word. When Shaphan read the scroll, he knew it was very important and took it to King Josiah also giving reports about the money given to the workers and supervisors at the temple. He read the scroll to King Josiah. King Josiah was depressed, upset, and tore his clothes when he heard the word of the scroll because he knew the people were not obeying the Lord. He sent word to Hilkiah, the priest, that he wanted everyone to obey God’s word.
King Josiah told Hilkiah and four of his most important helpers to go and ask advice from Prophetess Huldah who gave a special message to the people from God. Prophetess Huldah told them that indeed God will punish the people because they have forgotten the law but because King Josiah loved God and his people, he will not witness the punishment of God to the people during his reign. After King Josiah heard God’s message, he asked the elders to gather all the people, spoke to them in front of the temple and made a promise to God to follow Him, obey His commandments, rules, and laws. He promised to do what is written in God’s word and all the people made the same promises. He established and organized the Levites in their stand.
One of the things written in the scroll was the Passover which has not been observed in the land since the time of Prophet Samuel. The Passover was meant to be celebrated every year by the people, but it was never celebrated because the people don’t read the word of God. As Christians, it is easy to disobey the Lord if we do not read his words. After reading the word of God and the promise, the people celebrated the Passover. They learned God’s word, obeyed Him and were happy doing so. There are many lessons to learn from the story of King Josiah, in this article, some of the lessons will be mentioned.
- HE KNOWS AND LOVE GOD: 2 Kings 22:2
King Josiah must have been taught about God by his mother because even though his environment was full of idol worshippers, he decided to know and follow the ways of God. This shows that he might have been worshipping God in the closet and knows about his ways to follow him after he became king. He could have decided to follow the ways of his father and grandfather, but he chose God though he was young. As Christians, we should endeavor to know the ways of God and obey him, no matter where we found ourselves, we should not follow the multitude to do evil in the sight of God. We should learn to be good ambassadors of God anywhere we are. We must obey the first greatest commandment of loving God and having no other gods. We are to surrender all our ways and plans to Him alone.
- READ AND STUDY THE WORD OF GOD: 2 Kings 2:10
When the book of the law was brought to King Josiah, he could have rejected it and not allow Shaphan not to read it to him, but because he was a good steward of God, the allow him to read the law and when he heard the words in the scroll, he meditated on it and realized they have not been obedient to the words of God, he wasn’t happy and he started seeking advice on what to do. Likewise, we have children of God, we must always create time to prepare and study the word and not just that, we are meant to obey them too. It is not just about reading the word or studying the word, we must also act the word any day and every time.
- LEAD PEOPLE TO GOD: 2 Kings 23:1-2
King Josiah gathered all the elders with the people and read the laws into their ears. He rededicated his life to God and led the people back to God. His actions made the people to start obeying the laws of God by observing the Passover which was long forgotten. As Christians, we should endeavor to tell people about the gospel. We should not fail in evangelizing to people around us. Our actions and characters as Christians should draw people back to God, even backsliders.
It is written that there was no king that turned to God with all his heart and soul like King Josiah, can that be said about us by God? We should endeavor to live a life that is pleasing to God and worth emulating by people. Our actions and behavior must be patterned after Jesus Christ, we have bought with a price as Christians, and we can’t afford to live our lives just anyhow as we deem fit. We are not of this world though we are in it temporarily.